Now My Wings Fit

Word of the Day Challenge: Cachrymose

We’re back to my Merlin series now. I couldn’t stay away from it too long, not with all the little scenes I have already planned in my head. This is set during the episode Gwaine (3×04).

Cachrymose – given to shedding tears readily/tearful

Warning: graphic description of a panic attack

Spoilers for: Merlin 3×04, Gwaine

Disclaimer: Don’t own Merlin

Oh, no. Not again.

They were the only coherent thoughts he could have before the worst of it hit. As his vision began to blur and his breath hitched, his heart was hammering violently in his chest.

His body simply wanted to deposit him on the floor, but he knew he couldn’t fall – not here, not where anyone could walk in.

Stumbling, his legs feeling as though they were made of air, he made it up the stairs to his room, throwing the door open and slamming it behind him – forgetting who was already in there.

Gwaine was still sitting on his bed, the boredom on his face being instantly replaced with concern.

“Merlin?” he asked.

Merlin tried to say something – to explain – but all of his breath was being taken up by his body’s desperate and sudden need for oxygen.

All he could do was lean back against the door and slowly slide to the floor as his legs finally gave out.

As Gwaine stood to come over, his vision was so blurred that he could barely distinguish anything about the room. All he knew was that the sunlight streaming in through the window was suddenly cut off by a figure standing – no, kneeling? – in front of him. It was only when he felt a wetness on his cheeks that he realised he was becoming cachrymose, which wasn’t helping matters.

He could hear a deep noise, a comforting noise, over the ringing in his ears – a voice, perhaps? Then there was something beneath his palm: a beat, pressing into his skin.

The noise began to form words, muffled though they were at first.

“Merlin? Can you hear me?”

He made a move with his head that he hoped was a nod – and, based on what happened next, he guessed it was.

“You’ve got to breathe for me. Can you do that? In.”

There was no time for him to say that no, he didn’t think he was ready actually, before he was sucking in a large breath of air. He was just about to let it go when the noise happened again.

“Hold it,” it told him, and he wanted to protest but was unable to disobey. His lungs were burning – he needed oxygen, didn’t the noise understand that?

“Out.” Relief flooded him as he let the breath go, only to be reprimanded again. “Slowly.”

When he was done, his breathing had slowed somewhat. His eyes had closed at some point, but he was beginning to become more aware.

“Again. In.”

And so the ritual continued – in, hold, out – until all that was left of the attack was the adrenaline still coursing through his trembling limbs.

He slowly peeled his eyes open, blinking away the last of the blurriness – a renegade tear escaped, heading straight for his chin. He made to wipe it away, but his hand was being held in place. Gwaine had a tight grip on his wrist, holding his palm against his chest; he could feel the man’s heartbeat beneath his hand.

It was at that moment that Merlin realised he was being straddled. Gwaine’s knees were either side of his thighs, his face mere inches from his own.

Merlin blushed, thankful that their combined weight was effectively locking the door behind him.

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